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5 A service provider is considered to be delivering a preschool program if it was providing a structured, play based learning program, delivered by a degree qualified teacher, aimed at children between one or two years before they commence full-time schooling.
6 All children who, as at 1 July in the collection year, were between 3 and 6 years of age (inclusive), are in-scope of the collection if they were enrolled during the reference period in a preschool program at a service provider. A child is considered enrolled if they have attended the preschool program for at least one hour during the reference period, or are absent due to illness or extended holiday leave and expected to return.
7 In this publication data for children are reported as:
8 Queensland data was unable to be used to derive sufficiently accurate Children estimates.
9 A small number of 5 year olds in Western Australia (WA) with an unknown date of birth were removed from counts of Children in the YBFS. This decision was made in consultation with the WA Department of Education and is based on the low rates of enrolments of 5 year olds in preschool due to high rates of enrolment of 5 year olds in full-time schooling.
10 Data from Independent preschools in the Australia Capital Territory (ACT) were unavailable in 2012. Totals for the ACT in 2012 will have an undercount based on the unavailability of this data.
11 All paid employees at an in-scope service provider during the reference period are in-scope of the collection. This includes both contact and non-contact workers.
2012 DATA COMPARABILITY
12 To ensure national comparability, all jurisdictions were required to follow national data standards for the 2012 National ECEC Collection. The ECEC National Minimum Data Set (NMDS) is a set of national data standards which has been established by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), in conjunction with the ABS, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), and state and territory departments responsible for early childhood education. The ECEC NMDS is designed to support jurisdictions with the collection of ECEC data under the National Information Agreement for Early Childhood Education and Care (NIA ECEC). Compliance with these standards will ensure ECEC data is consistent and comparable between states and territories. More information on the ECEC NMDS can be found on the AIHW website, http://meteor.aihw.gov.au.
13 For the 2012 National ECEC Collection not all jurisdictions were able to align their collection methods directly with these standards. Matters relating to data quality are outlined in detail in Chapter 6 of the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 4240.0.55.001) As a result, not all measurement concepts or data items are able to be published for all jurisdictions. Issues affecting data comparability are included as footnotes and/or explanatory notes within this publication.
14 In 2012, about 8% and 40% of data for children in WA and Queensland (Qld) respectively were supplied as aggregate data. The impacts of aggregate data are outlined as appropriate throughout these explanatory notes.
LONG DAY CARE CENTRE DATA
15 Long Day Care (LDC) centres are in scope if they are delivering a preschool program and have children aged 3-6 enrolled. Only data relating to the preschool program at the LDC is in scope.
16 The Australian Government managed Child Care Management System (CCMS) contains information on children enrolled and attending preschool programs in LDC centres across Australia.
17 To varying degrees, states and territories also maintain information on children at LDC centres. For all states and territories, except Qld, LDC centre data has been combined with the jurisdictional data within this publication to maximise coverage, and minimise over count, of children enrolled and attending preschool programs. For more information on how the CCMS data has been combined with the state and territory see Chapter 2 of the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 4240.0.55.001).
COLLECTION DATE AND REFERENCE PERIOD
18 The collection date for the National ECEC Collection is the first Friday in August of each year. In 2012, the collection date for all jurisdictions was Friday, 3 August 2012. The reference period was 30 July - 3 August 2012. As some sessional preschool programs may have a fortnightly cycle (e.g. 3 days one week and 2 days the next) some jurisdictions have used a 2 week reference to reflect their preschool program delivery models better. Jurisdictional collection dates and reference periods for 2012 are summarised in the table below:
AGE REFERENCE DATE
19 The National ECEC Collection age reference date for all child data is 1 July of the collection year.
20 Jurisdictions that utilised an aggregate data collection methodology for any part of their collection were required to derive children's ages as at 1 July 2012, or supply an imputed date of birth that could be used to calculate ages as at 1 July 2012.
21 Jurisdictions that utilised a URL data collection methodology for any part of their collection supplied the date of birth for every child episode record reported as URL data. The ABS then derived the age of each child as at the 1 July 2012 reference date.
22 Terminology and age entry requirements for preschool differ across states and territories. These differences are summarised in the following table:
SECTOR OF PRESCHOOL PROVISION
23 Depending on jurisdictional delivery models, preschool programs may be delivered through government or non-government schools, government or community preschools and private-for-profit child care providers.
24 Data in this publication are presented hierarchically, by government or non-government managed and by LDC in accordance with the definition in the 2012 ECEC NMDS, which is as follows:
25 Where children are enrolled in multiple preschool programs they will be counted for each of those experiences in episode tables. In child tables they may be reported against their main preschool program (determined by hours enrolled), or against their provider type experience which is an experience type determined by the range of providers at which a child is enrolled at.
26 A small number of service providers in Qld were described as having a service activity type of occasional care and have been included in the publication as a LDC centre.
27 A child is considered to be enrolled in a preschool program if they have been offered a place in a preschool program and have attended that program for at least one hour during the reference period, or were absent due to illness or extended holiday leave and are expected to return.
28 A child is considered to be attending a preschool program if the child is enrolled in a preschool program and has attended that preschool program for at least one hour during the reference period. A child may attend for more hours than they are enrolled.
PRESCHOOL PROGRAM FEES
29 Fee schedules can differ between programs, organisations and jurisdictions. Fees may be charged daily, weekly, annually, per session or per term. If data is collected at any level other than weekly, the weekly fee is derived from the collected fee and fee schedule. Fees charged are usually based on the number of hours of a preschool program a child is enrolled to receive.
30 For aggregate data, information on fees per child information is based on a service's schedule of fixed fees, for example a charge of $150 per full term.
31 For URL data, information on fees are collected at the episode level. Where a child has more than one enrolment at a preschool program their fees are calculated by summing the fees for all of their enrolments (episodes).
32 In 2012 preschool fees were unable to be identified separately from LDC fees in the CCMS. Preschool fees for enrolments in CCMS were calculated by proportioning the preschool hours to the total hours at the LDC centre for each enrolment. This assumes that a fee structure for a preschool program at a LDC centre is the same as the fee structure for non-preschool program care at the same LDC centre.
33 Data on fees are rounded to the nearest dollar for publication.
34 For aggregate data information on hours are collected at the service provider level then hours per child figures are derived based on the number of enrolments at that service provider and rounded to the nearest whole number.
35 For URL data, information on hours is collected at the episode level. Where a child has more than one enrolment at a preschool program their hours data are calculated by summing the hours for all of their enrolments (episodes).
36 In WA, attendance rates have been applied to enrolment counts to estimate the number of children attending and the hours of attendance. These figures are indicative only.
37 Data on hours are rounded to the nearest hour for publication.
38 In this publication Remoteness Area (RA), Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD) and Estimated Resident Population (ERP) are based on 2006 Census data to maintain coherence between the reporting variables.
39 The ERP figures presented in this publication are unpublished numbers based on the 2006 Census. The ABS has provided these numbers as indicative only. They have been included here to support comparative reporting that has been performed using the 2006 ERP time series.
40 Final Rebased ERP based on the 2011 Census by state and territory and single year of age is expected to become available in mid 2013. When this is made available, the ABS will review outputs from this collection that are based on the 2006 Census (RA, SEIFA and ERP) to ensure that the most accurate and coherent data is available. For more information on concepts discussed here, contact the ABS' National Information and Referral Service (NIRS) on 1300 135 070.
41 Once final rebased ERP becomes available, based on the 2011 Census for single year of age by state and territory, the ABS will be able to make data from this publication available based on classifications using the 2011 Census.
42 Remoteness Areas (RA) are the spatial units that make up the ASGC Remoteness Classification. The purpose of the structure is to classify data from a statistical geography structure into broad geographical categories. The RA categories are defined in terms of 'remoteness' - the physical distance of a location from the nearest Urban Centre (access to goods and services) based on population size. There are six classes of Remoteness Area in the Remoteness Structure: Major Cities of Australia, Inner Regional Australia, Outer Regional Australia, Remote Australia, Very Remote Australia and Migratory. Under this classification, statistics were produced for:
43 In this publication RA has been derived from Census Collection District (CD), based on the residential address of the child where available or the service provider where the residential address of the child was unavailable.
44 The CD is a statistical geography based on the ASGC which is a hierarchical classification system consisting of six interrelated classification structures. The ASGC provides a common framework of statistical geography and thereby enables the production of statistics which are comparable and can be spatially integrated.
45 For further information refer to Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (cat. no. 1216.0).
46 Children enrolled and attending preschool programs in Jervis Bay have been included in statistics for the ACT.
47 The external Territories of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands have been included in statistics for WA.
48 The quantity of records for which RA was derived using service provider geography can be identified from the Not Stated SEIFA IRSD data (see below).
SOCIO-ECONOMIC INDEXES FOR AREAS
Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage
49 SEIFA IRSD is derived from Census variables related to disadvantage, such as low income, low educational attainment, unemployment, and dwellings without motor vehicles. SEIFA IRSD uses a broad definition of relative socio-economic disadvantage in terms of people's access to material and social resources, and their ability to participate in society. While SEIFA represents an average of all people living in an area, SEIFA does not represent the individual situation of each person. Larger areas are more likely to have greater diversity of people and households.
50 In this publication quintiles of the SEIFA IRSD have been derived from Census Collection District (CD) based on the residential address of the child where available. Where a child's geography was not stated the SEIFA IRSD is published as Not Stated.
51 The CD is a statistical geography based on the ASGC which is a hierarchical classification system consisting of six interrelated classification structures. The ASGC provides a common framework of statistical geography and thereby enables the production of statistics which are comparable and can be spatially integrated.
52 For more information on SEIFA please see Information Paper: An Introduction to Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), 2006 (cat. no. 2039.0)
53 The Census and Statistics Act 1905 provides the authority for the ABS to collect statistical information, and requires that statistical output shall not be published or disseminated in a manner that is likely to enable the identification of a particular person or organisation. This requirement means that the ABS must ensure that any statistical information about individuals cannot be derived from published data.
54 The suppression of sensitive cells or random adjustments to cells with very small values are some of the techniques that can be used to guard against identification or disclosure of confidential information in tables. To protect confidentiality within this publication, some cell values may have been suppressed and are not available for publication. These values are included in totals where applicable. In these cases data may not sum to totals due to the confidentialisation of individual cells.
ADDITIONAL STATISTICS AVAILABLE
55 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service (NIRS) on 1300 135 070.
56 ABS products and publications are available free of charge from the ABS web site http://www.abs.gov.au. Click on Statistics to gain access to the full range of ABS statistical and reference information.
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